Unknown cartoon from the Internet
March 31, 2023
The thing NATO and EU countries persistently deny when talking about the war in Ukraine is – yes, exactly – NATO’s expansion. But that is the conflict basis that caused Russia to start a war on Russia. This very precise formulation is not an endorsement of that war – I wrote against it on February 25, 2022.
Only fools believe that an explanation is the same as legitimisation and endorsement.
The underlying conflict – not the violence that grows out of it, is always the key to peace. Peace comes from dealing with the conflict and finding a solution.
It is not called war resolution; it is called conflict resolution.
Like the doctor doesn’t just look at the point of pain but goes deeper and asks: What is the cause? What is the problem? So do people who are professionals in peace and nonviolence. They ask: What is the reason? What is this conflict about, and how can third-parties try to help the parties find a solution so the parties can live peacefully – albeit not lovingly – with each other.
You do not ask first: Whose fault is it? You ask: What is the problem that stands between the parties and which they could not handle productively so, instead, it blew up in violence?
This very simple, peace-professional approach is unknown to 98% of the world’s decision-makers in the fields of defence, security and peace.
Not knowing this way of going about conflict is an indicator of conflict illiteracy.
I’ve argued this for almost 50 years, in one conflict after the other. I am guilty of quite a lot of analytical materials pertaining to the NATO-Russia conflict that now, so tragically, plays out on Ukraine’s territory.
NATO’s expansion has been described by many – but it doesn’t go through: Not among decision-makers, not in the general public, only with a tiny minority of scholars like myself. In terms of the political spectrum – a majority of the so-called Left is in total agreement with the right. Actually, there are quite a few Realist-school scholars whom no one can blame for leftism who have argued against NATO’s expansion for years.
The human rights and peace movements are somewhat split, too; most members of them have been carried away by their good hearts, emotionalism and rampant anti-Russia propaganda and seem to believe that Russia is the only party to focus on and judge. Across the board, it has become politically correct to blame Russia and neither look at underlying conflicts nor suggest peaceful means to make a future peace possible.
A majority clearly argue for arming Ukraine as much and as fast as possible and that – unfortunately, they would say – the war has to be won by Ukraine. One must wonder what that winning Ukraine may look like and what life will be like for the innocent Ukrainian citizens who have survived by then.
If images tell more than thousands of words, this very short video from WawamuStats on YouTube may make some people think. If they do, the next step is to read some book-length solid analyses and check out the wealth of materials here on The Transnational in general and our NATO Analysis here: